Monday, November 26, 2018

Remembering Ruby with GOOD ROSIE by Kate DiCamillo

For the past 8 years we've enjoyed the companionship of our high-energy, sweet, protective, crazy Australian shepherd Ruby.

She died this past Saturday, and we are feeling so sad, so lonely without her.

Those of you who have beloved pets know what I'm talking about -- because you don't bring home that puppy or kitten without knowing that someday this day will come.

It's a tough time.

What's helped has been thinking about all the things we've loved about Ruby, all the joy she brought to our lives. Here's the start of our list:

last pic of Ruby
how much she loved licking out the peanut butter jar
her passion for bacon grease
her enthusiasm for the rubber chicken
how she'd bark as if to say “throw it! Throw it again!”
the way she'd cock her head
her high energy
the joy she had in running
how she was so polite that she didn't want to eat in front of you
how excited she was to get a treat
how she would dip her paws in the water bowl to help her cool off
how she followed us around the outside of the house when we were inside without her
how she howled along when I played my cello
the way she rubbed against things to scratch an itch
the way she'd grunt in pleasure when you scratched an itch for her
her little nub wagging
how happy she was to go on walks
how she made those chairs on the front porch her own
how good she was in the bath
how tenderly she took anything from your hand
how faithful she was, how close she stayed
how she was always rounding us up
how she did a sweep of our yard and the neighbor's yard
how proud she was of that last Thanksgiving turkey bone
the way she knew so many words
how she barked at thunder and chased it
how excited she got about falling leaves
how funny she was about getting into the boat – not sure where/when to get in -- but determined to get in!
how she'd stand at the prow as we cruised the lake, and then would lay down to enjoy the ride
how she piddled around the shore, investigating, and didn't know what to do the first time we put her in the lake
how she would set off an alarm when anyone suspicious came near our house
how she would let us pet her when she was half asleep
how she would get up and follow Eric to the door when he went inside -- ever the escort

Ruby was Eric's dog really. (Parents, you know how that goes, right?) He said there would never be another dog as good as Ruby. He's right. This loss has been really tough for him.

Something else helping us to get through this time is reading dog books. For some time I've been meaning to blog about GOOD ROSIE! by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Harry Bliss, brought to us by Candlewick.

I love this book! It's like a graphic novel for the young set. And Rosie truly is a good dog and loves her human George. (Those early scenes really do remind me of Ruby!) But Rosie is a little lonely, too. She needs some dog-friends. She has a lot to learn when she first visits the dog park. Eventually, after some near-disasters, she gains two new friends in Fifi and Maurice. It's super-sweet. I hope you'll check it out and remember those special pets in your life.

Meanwhile, I'll be here, remembering Ruby.
Ruby's first Christmas (2010)


  1. So sorry to hear about Ruby. What a good, beautiful dog she was! Thanks for sharing all those memories/impressions of her.

  2. Oh, Irene, so sad to lose one of our family. I loved reading your list of things you've loved about Ruby. If you're not familiar with Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant, check it out. Hugs!

  3. So, so sorry, Irene. What a great list of things you wrote about what you loved about her. :-(

  4. So sorry about the loss of your sweet Ruby. We had an Australian Shepherd a decade ago--also a crazy, high-energy but lovable pup. Thanks for sharing your Ruby list.



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